The latest installment in Kompakt‘s best-known, annual Pop Ambient series has arrived.
Pop Ambient 2018 serves as the newest installment in the long-running series, complete with 12 new tunes from Kompakt record affiliates such as The Orb, Jens-Uwe Beyer, Kaito, and Mikkel Metal. Compiled by Kompakt’s co-founder Wolfgang Voigt, the sweeping, new atmospheric record is presented in both digital and vinyl formats with an assemblage of hand-picked recordings from compositional veterans and newcomers alike.
The record is ostentatiously beautiful. Its sonic breadth reaches far and wide, from the waning, organic synthesis of artists such as The Orb, who intertwines dazzling sample collages on “Sky’s Falling,” to artists like Kaito who exudes exquisite elegance on the trance-infused soundscape “Travelled Between Souls,” or Mikkel Metail’s intimate “Shame.”
Said acts join the ranks of some of pop ambient’s greatest scholars, echoing a texturized sentiment for the cinematically inclined. The venerable Jörg Burger last heard on Pop Ambient 2013 — or KOMPAKT 269 CD 103— makes his striking Triola return with the seemingly suspended, reverberation-drenched “L’Atatlante.”
And after making his Pop Ambient debut on last year’s installment — KOMPAKT 365 CD 135 — the Tokyo-based musician and architectural acoustic designer Yui Onodera marks a strong addition to the artistic nuance in his exploration of deep, intricate strings on both “Prism” and “Nine Chains To The Moon,” respectively.
Onodera is also joined by two other new recruits, each illustrious artists in their own right. The techno provocateur T.Raumschmiere exhibits elegiac drone strength on “Eterna,” whereas the newly included pedal steel guitar maestro Chuck Johnson, emits a redolently immersive cut that draws from the idiosyncrasy of country post-rock he established on his acclaimed Balsams full-length earlier this year. Pop Ambient 2018 is thus a vast collection of material, but its very sonic virtue is imbued with its immense variances themselves.
Purchase Pop Ambient 2018 here.